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  1. roseriver1012's Avatar
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    #1

    "how" or "how to"?

    I would mend your radio, but I don't know ___
    A how B how to

    Which one is proper here? Or both? If it is "how", is it the short form of "how I would mend it."and if it is "how to", the short form of "how to mend it."? Thanks for your help, and forgive my such a stupid question, for I need authoritative answers to persuade others.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "how" or "how to"?

    Quote Originally Posted by roseriver1012 View Post
    I would mend your radio, but I don't know ___
    A how B how to

    Which one is proper here? Or both? If it is "how", is it the short form of "how I would mend it."and if it is "how to", the short form of "how to mend it."? Thanks for your help, and forgive my such a stupid question, for I need authoritative answers to persuade others.
    "I would mend your radio, but I don't know how (to do it)."

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: "how" or "how to"?

    Quote Originally Posted by roseriver1012 View Post
    I would mend your radio, but I don't know ___
    A how B how to

    Which one is proper here? Or both? If it is "how", is it the short form of "how I would mend it."and if it is "how to", the short form of "how to mend it."? Thanks for your help, and forgive my such a stupid question, for I need authoritative answers to persuade others.
    They are both right.

    A: Can you mend my radio?
    B: I don't know how.
    B: I don't know how to.

    Both of B's responses are good English.

  4. roseriver1012's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: "how" or "how to"?

    So again different replies from different zones! Then can I look on it as people's different language habbits from different countries? What about from grammatical sense? Are they both right in grammar?

  5. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: "how" or "how to"?

    Quote Originally Posted by roseriver1012 View Post
    So again different replies from different zones! Then can I look on it as people's different language habbits from different countries? What about from grammatical sense? Are they both right in grammar?
    I agree with Raymott, both are correct English.

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    #6

    Re: "how" or "how to"?

    RE: I would mend your radio, but I don't know . . .

    As bhaisahab pointed out in his response the complete sentence would be,

    "I would mend your radio but I don't know how to do it."

    Whether the speaker chooses to shorten the sentence to:

    I would mend your radio but I don't know how OR
    I would mend your radio but I don't know how to

    is at his/her option. Both are correct and which the speaker chooses will depend on how much information he/she believes the listener needs to clearly understand what the speaker is saying.

    We often use such elipses in English when the missing words are clearly and unambiguously implied.

    Your comment notwithstanding, this has nothing to do "different zones,"
    but it is is interesting to note that in my part of the world (Canada) we
    would not mend a radio, we would fix or repair it.

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